Parks & Reserves
Kakadu Escarpment (Image: Wikipedia).
We support extension and linking of existing parks and creation of new parks in both rural and urban environments.
- Preservation of our natural heritage.
- Safety of people in and around parks.
- Provision of recreational facilities so people can sustainably enjoy parks.
Where conflicts exist between the preservation of natural heritage in a park and the safety of residents near the park this should be resolved on a 'who was here first?' basis.
Example: If people buy land next to a national park the government should assist those residents to buy fire shelters rather than cut down the national park so the residents can have unsafe houses. (See also Firesafe houses page.)
New & Expanded Reserves
All remaining areas of high conservation value should be protected. This includes any remnant areas of old growth forest currently being logged for little or negative financial return now. (Note the tax policy includes a logging tax.)
This includes expanding Marine Parks to cover 20 to 30% of Australia's maritime zone.
We support the use of the best scientifically based strategies to suppress and contain bushfires.
This is likely to include:
- Controlled burning (bearing in mind this can be dangerous and might encourage more flammable vegetation).
- Introduction of native fire-resistant vegetation.
- Fire breaks.
- Fire access tracks.
- Fire shelters (probably underground) within parks.
- Free or subsidised fire shelters (probably underground) for private properties around parks.
Wilkinson's Hut, owned by Melbourne Bushwalking Club, in August 1996. This hut burnt down in 2004 and under current park regulations cannot be re-built.
Parks should not be 'locked up'. We support sustainable use of parks for recreation:
- Community Huts: We support groups building and maintaining ecologically sound and fire-safe huts in National Parks, subject to strict guidelines. The groups should have a broad membership and the huts would have to be well hidden. Huts improve access to parks and have lower long-term impacts than camping. Example: Wilkinson Lodge. This hut was maintained for many years by the Melbourne Bushwalking Club but they were not allowed to re-build after it burnt down in 2004.
- Toilets: Lack of toilet facilities in parks often causes major problems due to the lack of knowledge of many park users. Toilet facilities are essential in all well used areas.
- Track Access: We support horse, trail bike and 4WD and other clubs having controlled use of fire-access and other tracks in national & state parks on specific days. This would be conditional on acceptance of common-sense 'terms and conditions'. We do not support open-use of these tracks by anyone as it leads to abuse.
- Segregated Access:
Access needs to be segregated to avoid conflicts:
- Trail bikes / jet skis: Tuesday - Thursday in specified areas.
- Other: Remainder of the week.
- Shooting: Hunting of non-native animals is supported with appropriate controls. This may need to be on a specific weekday (?)
- Foot Access: We support foot access to national & state parks. In some areas this should be conditional on acceptance of common-sense 'terms and conditions'.
- Boat Ramps: Boat ramps should be maintained and fishing allowed in designated areas.
We support the use of marine parks being expanded to cover 20 to 30% of Australia's maritime zone.
These 'No Take' zones will help to:
- Preserve marine biodiversity.
- Improve fish stocks for recreational and commercial fishing.
The current practice of using size limits should be reviewed given many of the undersized fish that are released may be dying anyway.
For more details see Marine Parks as a Fisheries Management Tool at OzPolitic.
OzPolitic Marine Parks Page.
Huge Marine Park Welcome
13th June 2012: NewAustralia welcomes the announcement of a huge new marine park.